TED Conversations

Mike Colera


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What will it take to recreate an educated American.

In fairness, I have to say that I have been critical of the education system in the US since my own sons went to school and I attended schools conferences and PTA meetings.
My conclusions:
Universities have found an unending source of funding accepting students with government loans that are estimated in the trillion dollar range. The number of dropouts from baccalaureate programs is outrageous, universities aren't concerned as they use the funds to build resorts, endowments, while uneducated college dropouts are stuck with loans for most of their lifetimes.

K-12 is even a greater failure in education. Many have touted pre-school programs to give children a headstart in schools. The Feds have reported the best heard start gain is lost by 4th Grade in mediorce elementary schools. Numbers vary but nearly 25% of children entering schools never graduate. A too large pecentage graduate functionally illerate. Yet bloated public school bureacracies demand more and more funds to educated our children. They acknowledge their failures and tell us money is the resolution. However, in my lifetime, the US has fallen from one of the best educated in the world to a level falling behind a number of "supposedly third world" nations, with expenditures exceeding most of the world's nations gross national product.

So, what have we got for all this money and so many uneducated young Americans. Huge bureacracies where non educational personnel make up nearly half of the staff, facilities that rival world resorts, after school athletic programs that rival professional leagues, text books riddled with current political correctness whatever that is, and my favorite, participating students are taught the mandatory state tests that are fixed to funding requests. All of this education tragedy is well supported by extremely powerful political interests.

So, solutions: I have none.

What will it take to educate America?

Topics: education

Closing Statement from Mike Colera

Most of the points of my initial conversation on the problems in Education were not addressed. Yes there are some schools doing an excellent job creating functional young adults that will do well in their lives. But too many young adults are not well educated and I am not addressing college, I am address daily life situations. We need to do so much more to resolve these problems and that is my problem.

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  • Jul 8 2013: my two cents.....

    The solution lies in the examination of the PURPOSE of EDUCATION. Not in its reform.

    "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
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      Jul 9 2013: Scott,
      We need knowledgeable adults who can properly execute a constitutional republic or this country will become the Wiedmeir Republic of 1925.
      • Jul 9 2013: Yes, and what of the masses? The ruling class is a tiny majority
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          Jul 9 2013: Masses? Ruling Class?
          American Public Education was founded on the principle that all Americans would be given the skills to sustain a constitutional republic.
    • Jul 9 2013: Scott, Agreed. Schools need specific, measurable objectives. Schools that are required to meet the goals of everyone actually meet the goals of no one. The trend toward more specialized charter schools is headed in the right direction.

      Mike, if you are stating the purpose of education, your statement is too vague to be useful.
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        Jul 9 2013: OK, once more
        The original need for public education was to provide an informed citizenry to sustain the new Federal Government that the founding father's created. Over the next 200 years elected local school boards added skills to be taught that they perceived to be beneficial to their communities. In the 1960s with the creation of the Federal Department of Education with federal funding and federal regulations, did local school management companies (aka School Districts) found this as a new source of funds to expand their involvement in community life in the name of educating children.
        The school districts now have restaurants, police forces, vast landscaped facilities, medical services, motor fleets and transportation facilities, well established headquarters fully staffed with every amenity all in the name of educating children... which hasn't really happened, has it.
        • Jul 10 2013: I understand your frustration. If a child of say 16 years old walked up to you and asked you what the purpose of education was, what would you say?
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        Jul 10 2013: Scott,
        I would say that he/she should learn everything they could. I would tell them that knowledge is power, the power to live their lives their way.as they see fit. I have more but you see where I am going.

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